With minicamp rolling along into its second day, it’s a crucial time for the development of third year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins signal caller holds the key to the team’s success on the offensive side of the ball this season, as his play could make Miami a dangerous threat offensively. Obviously being in a new system, Tannehill will need to have some time to learn and develop, but with a team that’s built to win right now with a good group of young talent and veterans, that learning curve might be sped up a bit.
On Wednesday, the Dolphins quarterback joined The Finsiders in studio to discuss everything from learning the new offense, his role as a leader in the locker room, and the influx of new offensive weapons around the former first-round pick.
The main fixation from fans and media will be the adjustments Tannehill makes to adapt and learn Miami’s new offense. New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s system appears to be much more wide open than anything Tannehill has ever been in, and that could be to his advantage. He possesses a high football IQ and an athletic skill set that fits this scheme, and he feels confident about it.
“I feel great,” said Tannehill. “We have the whole offense in pretty much, I’m sure we’ll add a few things throughout training camp and the season. Today we were practicing all types of situations and situational football, things that come up throughout the year, and we have those in our game plan [now]. If we had to go out and play a football game today we have the entire offense, and I think the defense has the entire defense, in the game plan. Now it’s just about getting those repetitions.”
With the new offense in place, Tannehill also has a few new additions to the offensive skill positions to play with. First off, there’s the return of Brandon Gibson and Brian Hartline, who look like they haven’t missed a beat physically despite suffering season ending injuries last year. There’s also rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry, a guy that’s been garnering rave reviews for his versatility.
“There are guys in that room that can play and to have them all healthy will make it tough for a defense,” said Tannehill. “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a challenging fall to see how it shakes out because we have so much talent in that room, guys all around the board that can play.
And don’t forget about the talented running back room, featuring newly acquired back Knowshon Moreno, and last year’s backfield of Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, and Mike Gillislee. Tannehill knows how important they are.
“Our receiving group is talented, but our backs are going to catch balls too,” said Tannehill. “They’re a vital part of this offense, and when you have guys who have good hands like our backs do, who are able to catch and make people miss it, adds a whole other dimension to your offense.”
Tannehill can have all the weapons in the world at his disposal, but it won’t mean much unless he’s in total command of this offense. So far this offseason, he’s shown definitive signs of being a leader on the team, which could ultimately be the difference regarding the performance of the offense. He believes that he should step up as a leader, and that it’s his job earn the respect of the locker room.
“You just can’t come in on day one and start griping at guys for not doing the right thing,” said Tannehill. “You have to earn that respect of you teammates, show that you’re doing the right thing, consistently doing the right thing, and now it’s time to push everyone. I think it’s the job of a leader, a quarterback, to make the guys around him better and expect them to perform at a high level, and they should expect the same out of me.”
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